Kylemore Abbey

Centering Prayer Retreat

In 1984 Fr. Thomas Keating OCSO. founded Contemplative Outreach, an organization dedicated to sharing the fruits of contemplative prayer, a method of prayer that strives to develop a relationship with God beyond words, thoughts, and faith. Through Contemplative methods, retreatants will strive to feel the full presence of God in their prayer.

This silent retreat offers the retreatant a deep immersion in the silence of Centering Prayer and will feature DVD’s of Fr. Thomas Keating, Lectio Divina and one on one conversations with retreat facilitators. Retreatants stay in single ensuite rooms at Notre Dame Kylemore. Meals will be provided by the on site dining services.

The retreat will be enhanced by the unique opportunity to live in community with the Benedictine sisters who reside at Kylemore. Retreatants will be able to join the daily Offices and participate in the Eucharist.

Participants have two options for accommodation: 

  1. Stay at the Notre Dame Kylemore facility
  2. Stay at St Mary's above the Chocolate Factory (September and November retreats only). This accommodation is managed by the Benedictine community and offers modest single bedrooms with wifi and ensuite bathroom facilities. All meals, including breakfast, will be at ND Kylemore, a 5-minute walk from St Mary's. 

Retreat Dates


  • €200/ $220 for 2 nights, 3 days includes ensuite accommodation, meals and sessions at ND Kylemore
  • €180/ $200 for 2 nights, 3 days includes accommodation with shared bathrooms in St Mary's, meals and sessions


Notre Dame Kylemore
Phone: +353 95 418 15

Register here to join us

Anselma Dolcich-Ashley

Anselma Dolcich Ashley Thumbnail

The daughter of Benedictine Oblates and a lifelong Catholic, Anselma Dolcich-Ashley learned Benedictine values at her childhood home in Washington, DC. She later received training in the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola from the Jesuits at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, where she majored in theology and biology, and at Weston School of Theology (now Boston College School of Theology and Ministry), in Boston, Massachusetts. She served as a campus minister at University of Illinois at Chicago and Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame, Indiana). Anselma completed her Ph.D. in moral theology at University of Notre Dame in 2011 and served as a theology instructor and adviser for Notre Dame’s Glynn Family Honors Program.

Upon retirement in 2021, Anselma returned to her roots and completed training in Centering Prayer with Contemplative Outreach of Colorado. Currently she is enrolled in the Benedictine spiritual direction program at Benet Hill Monastery in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and volunteers with an online educational community to support survivors of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. She also devotes herself to writing projects.

Anselma’s husband, J. Matthew Ashley, is a professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Theology; they have three adult children and split their time between Indiana and Colorado USA.